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No, this isn’t a mochi on steroids.
In fact, this treat abides by most rulebooks but not necessarily the cookbooks. A full-sized strawberry sits comfortably in a layer of azuki (uh-ZOO-key) beans and mochi rice with an end product of Tastebuds Gone Wild, rated Y for Yum. The Made In Hawaii Foods Factory takes mochi beyond the standards of what mochi-thusiasts are used to by fattening up those buggers with a nutritious sweet.
The factory sells everything, well, made in Hawaii. Stop by one of their locations in Moiliili or Pearl City and grab a local-style snack. They’ve got cookies, party mixes, spices and more. But the shop’s most known for the variety of creative flavors it offers when it comes to the jams, jellies and mochi departments. Sweet potato haupia, Oreo cookies & cream and peanut butter chocolate – just to name a few – with lilikoi cheesecake topping the list as its most popular.
Swarms of people constantly go in and out with a mission to stock up on mochi, almost as if they fear a mochi shortage! Others go to watch mochi makers in action on the select days, usually Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Going on these days will also guarantee you get the mochi of your choice because throughout the week, the refrigerator quickly empties.
But like everything else, when we get more of something, we oftentimes pay more. Those huge strawberry mochi cost $5.95 for a two pack while a three pack cost $6.75. This is a little on the pricier side as compared to other mochi places, but it’s the only place you’ll find this particular flavor.
Made In Hawaii Foods is not only remembered by its delicious snacks but by being the target of arsonists several years ago. The original Aiea factory burnt down in 2003, and since then, the company rose from the ashes to be (Re)Made In Hawaii.
NEW MŌILIILI FACTORY OUTLET • Open Tues-Fri, 11am-530pm; Sat-Sun 11am-4pm; Mon-Closed • 2071-A S. Beretania Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96825 • 808-947-9022 • Free parking; Near bus stop
PEARL CITY FACTORY OUTLET • Open Tues-Fri, noon-5pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-3pm; Mon-Closed • 98-718 Moanalua Road, A18, Pearl City, Hawaii 96782 • 808-484-0052 • Free parking; Near bus stop